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Thread: Finishing question

  1. #1

    Default Finishing question

    I am just getting ready to put a finish on my first mandolin build and am shooting for a honey amber varnish finish. How are the other builders achieving that look and what are they using for varnish and or dyes or staines and my apologies if this has been already asked and answered in previous threads.

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finishing question

    The color can be accomplished in many different ways. There can be differences in the look depending on whether the color is directly on the wood, over a sealer, incorporated into the finish material, rubbed by hand, sprayed on etc. etc..
    If you can find an example of the look you want, and if you can learn how it was accomplished, then you have a starting point, and it is then time to practice on scrap wood.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Finishing question

    Lots of videos on youtube on how to make maple "pop" some with the honey amber look you desire. Spruce is trickier because you do not want to burn the end grain exposed by the carving of the plate. You will need to put a sealer of some sort so you do not get a blotchy look.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #4

    Default Re: Finishing question

    Also depends on how much honey you want and how much amber.
    This one is nothing but tru-oil on spruce.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Finishing question

    I used Tru Oil and blond shellac and got a lovely light honey color. I think if I were to do it again, I'd do garnet or amber shellac first as a sealer and then Tru Oil. I think it would give me the more amber color I like. If I could just go over it to darken it a tad, I'd do it. The folks here who commented on my idea to darken after the Tru Oil finish pretty much discourage it. The light honey is lovely so not a problem.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Finishing question

    I'm attempting a honey amber finish on my first F5. i mixed a very dilute solution of brown Keda powdered dye in isopropyl alcohol and rubbed it onto the wood. I put a coat of shellac on the spruce and sealed the f holes before applying the dye solution. The maple back and sides took the dye evenly without an initial coat of shellac. Although I avoided splotches at the end grains, it is difficult to obtain a highly uniform application of the dye on the spruce by rubbing. So far it looks OK with appropriate social distancing. I'll finish it with shellac.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Finishing question

    To follow up: applying dye in isopropyl alcohol onto shellac doesn't work, either by wiping or spraying. After scraping it all off, I mixed very blonde shellac with powdered dye dissolved in denatured alcohol, and it went on perfectly. As Rdean said, it's pretty similar to amber shellac in color.

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